SIKESTON -- The Sikeston Department of Public Safety is one of five law enforcement agencies to receive part of more than $800,000 in law enforcement grants.
The grant, which was presented by the US Department of Justice Office of Community Orienting Policing Services in Schools program, awarded the Sikeston Department of Public Safety $346,008.
Sikeston DPS will use the funds to expand their coverage in the school system.
"What we are going to do is fund three school resource officers and what this allows us to do is hire three new officers to replace the more experienced officers," said DPS captain Jim Hailey. "This is going to help us out considerably and allow us to expand our school resources."
Along with Sikeston DPS, grants were awarded to the Cuba Police Department ($97,151), Jackson Police Department ($107,750), Phelps County Sheriff's Department ($238,370) and Shannon County and the City of Washington ($91,979).
"Our law enforcement officers face many challenges -- one of which is making sure we have the resources needed to fight crime in our schools," said Representative Jo Ann Emerson in a release announcing the grants. "The COPS program allows us to extend the safety network from our neighborhoods and communities into our schools so our students can learn in a safe environment.
"I am proud of all of these communities for the work that they have put into securing these funds and look forward to visiting with them as the School Resource Officers begin the work these funds have made possible."
The COPS grants were awarded to help sheriff and police departments operate more efficiently. Nationwide, more than $550 million has been awarded to train and hire more than 6,000 officers to work in the nation's schools.